Community Unity Mandala Budget
*The budget of the Unity Mandala Project is currently being formulated under the following guidelines.
Contracts and legal fees
A signed agreement is required before a commission is
awarded. The contract is signed once plans have been revised,
technical requirements stipulated, suppliers confirmed, and the
budget has been thoroughly reviewed. Independent legal
advice is recommended and can form part of the costs of the
project. Contract payments are made in installments, usually as
a percentage of the total contract amount, and geared to
specific stages of certification and production.
Copyright in the completed work usually belongs jointly to the
artist and to the commissioning organization or the City.
Consultants: Architects, Engineers, etc.
Engineering Certifications: Structural, Electrical, Mechanical,
Insurance: Liability, WCB, Errors & Omissions, Auto, Loss
Municipal Permits and Licenses: Business License & Work
Permits are generally required for building on site, electrical and
water connection, and street occupancy (for installation) unless
City staff are doing the work. General contractors may already
have these permits. Permit costs (and the artist’s business
license) need to be anticipated and included in the budget—
phone the City Permits and Licenses Office (604/873-7611).
Depending on the site, other costs such as resituating traffic
signs may be incurred.
Drawings and Certifications
One to three sets of detailed drawings will be required before
the production of the final art work. If you receive a
commission, licensed engineering certifications are usually
required on drawings and plans for structural elements. In
some instances, more than one certification may be necessary if there are different components or if elements change. Costs
can range from $200-$5000. It is best to obtain quotations
from engineering firms for the initial budget. QS is a review of
the budget to determine whether cost projections are
adequate, prices are accurate, and if everything has been
considered. In some cases this can be done by the City or
contractor, but on large or complex projects an independent
Quantity Survey may be required and should be budgeted for.
The artist/contractor must have public liability insurance of
$2,000,000 for all projects during installation and possibly for
up to two years. This includes liability for injury of public and
employees working on the project. The cost of this insurance
could be up to $1000/year unless you already have insurance
in place which can be upgraded to cover the project. Insurance
should be included as part of the costs of the project. In
particular circumstances, the insurance requirement may be
waived and covered by the City or contractor.
The artist is liable for the replacement cost of the art work until
it is installed, and adequate insurance should be maintained.
Please consult an insurance agent.
If you have a vehicle you are using for hauling, etc. on the
project you should have the required auto insurance.
As a contractor, you are required to have workers’
compensation coverage for anyone who is working for you to
fabricate or install the work. WCB will help cover wage loss
and medical expenses for anyone hurt while working on your
project. You can also obtain coverage for yourself on the
project. The WCB Employer Registration number is 604.244-
6182. (1999) You can register over the phone and you will
receive a statement that has to be filled out regarding the
wages you paid and to whom. Cost is roughly $5.80 per
$1000 paid to employees and can be included in the budget.
Licensed subcontractors may already be registered with WCB
and you will not have to cover them, but it is your
responsibility to make sure of their coverage. Confirmation of
WCB registration is required.
PST you pay out for supplies and services should be included in
the budget projections as part of the basic contract amount.
PST is not added to the contract amount as the art work is
considered to be an improvement of real property. Special PST
considerations may apply if you are importing materials from
outside the province or if you are a First Nations artist. Check
with an accountant if either of these situations apply.
Administrative expenses may include phone/fax, postage,
printing, studio rental (over and above your normal work
place), mileage, airfare, etc. related to the project. If submitting
from outside of the city, province, or country, increase courier
fees and budget for site visits. A business license will be
necessary and can be obtained at City Hall (call 604.873.7568).
Documentation and maintenance manual expenses
The budget should also include the cost of documenting the
completed work. The Public Art Program requires a set of slides
for reference and for non-commercial reproduction, including
placement on the City web site.
Architectural plans and as-built drawings of the final piece are
requested for the Public Art and Maintenance archive and the
cost of copying these should be considered. A Maintenance
Manual is required for all public art works and this needs to be
developed with drawings and particulars on materials,
suppliers, fabricators, etc.
Artist Fees may vary depending on the labour required and the
material cost. A fee of more than 20% of the budget would be
exceptional and would need to be clearly justified. As a general
rule, a contingency of 15-20% should be included in the initial
budget. The final project budget—at the level of the short
list—should include at least a 5% contingency if all the above
points have been taken into consideration
Labour (employees other than the artist)
Transportation and Delivery
Inspections/Permits (streets, building, electrical, plumbing, etc.)
Clean-up and Finishing
Fees and Administration
Travel and Accommodation
Postage, Courier, Supplies, Phone/Fax, Printing
GST (please quote your GST registration #)
When choosing materials and structural elements, consider UV,
pollution, wind resistance, and other factors in the
environment. Elements must be protected internally and
externally from corrosion. Materials must be vandal resistant
and moving parts must have long service life and low
maintenance cost. Anti-graffiti coatings are required.
A contribution equalling at least 10% of the art budget is
deposited with the Public Art Maintenance Reserve for the
long-term maintenance of art work sited on public land.
Private-site art work should make other provisions
The process includes a number of reviews and inspections.
Public safety is a primary concern for the finished art work. The
proposal is given an in-depth review by engineers to ensure
that safety, structural integrity, longevity, and maintenance
plans will meet performance standards. Materials and work are
inspected during fabrication, prior to installation, and upon
Some general considerations include:
• Art work must be considered in light of overall planning goals
and design guidelines. It must minimize the potential for
concealment and anti-social activities.
• Art work must not impede the safe circulation of the public or
interfere with existing structures and must be sited to ensure
fire lanes, rights of way, visibility, and view corridors are
• Art work should have no accessible sharp edges, points, or
projections that could cause injury, or have openings or
junctures which could pinch or trap a person.
• Water features need to operate with a recirculating system. The
cost of bringing water to the site is usually a cost to the project.
• Electrical components must meet or exceed CSA standards.
• Art work on walking surfaces must not exceed 1/8” from
height of surface or have areas lower that 1/4” below the
walking surface. Surfaces must be skid resistant and
depressions should not catch heels or cause water to pool.
Structural components must be flush with boulevards or
sidewalks and must support vehicle weight.
If you are registered for GST and provide your GST registration
number, GST will be paid over and above the contract amount
(minus the PST). The GST you collect is not income; it must be
remitted to the federal government. However, as a registered
contractor, you can claim input tax credits for GST which you
pay on taxable materials that were used in the work. You must
quote your GST number on all invoices and the GST amount
must be listed separately on the invoice.
It is our understanding that the entire amount of the contract
must be included as part of your annual income. You can write
off expenses against the income you report. You can also
consider creating a company to handle projects. For
information about these options you should speak to an
accountant and/or lawyer.
Artists from outside Canada should consult with an accountant
regarding their tax responsibilities in Canada and in their
country of origin.
It is recommended that artists who are awarded contracts
should register for the GST. You must register if the contract is
over $30,000. GST Registration Forms are available from your
accountant or Revenue Canada.
The following are guidelines only, and meant to prompt an
awareness of areas of responsibility which can effect the
success of the project. In most cases they have budget
implications over and above the costs of materials and labour.
The amount of detail required for the proposal will depend on
the stage of the proposal process. The initial budget is a broad
projection of feasibility and should take into consideration the
whole range of costs. At the contract stage, it is best to have
the proposal reviewed by an accountant, a quantity surveyor,
and legal council.